I Am Love (Io sono l'amore)
By now, you may have heard that Oscar winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) has turned in another winning performance in an Italian art house film she co-produced. And that she does in I am Love -- but unfortunately, besides her potent turn and some breathtaking cinematography, the film is nothing more than a glorified soap opera.
Swinton plays Emma, a native Russian who had long ago wed into the wealthy Recchi family of textile manufacturers from Milan, Italy. With her children all grown, Emma finds herself in a rut -- and ends up having a passionate love affair that rocks her existence and jeopardizes the sanctity of the entire family. Mix in secrecy, homosexuality, an accidental death and some business wheeling and dealing -- and you'll feel like you're watching a dubbed version of a 1980s "Dynasty" episode.
Although the mostly Italian cast is unknown here, you may recognize the wonderful Marisa Berenson (S.O.B.) as the Recchi matriarch. The score, which contains several works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Adams, is mostly way over the top -- adding to the film's melodramatic tone. Directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by Guadagnino and Barbara Alberti. [Rated R; Italian and Russian with English subtitles; released on DVD today]
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